What happens when we put our most significant memories and our most intimate moments online? As digitization and internet storage become more and more integrated into the technical and cultural systems that drive how we interact with and remember content, it becomes increasingly more difficult to understand where exactly these pieces of ourselves go. For most people today, digital storage is the standard for saving files, the internet is the default for being able to share them with others, and “the cloud” is like a digital ether—a boundless space we can fill with our data. We share our memories online with the expectation that we can keep, view, and share them over and over again, but where do our memories really go and who is actually able to see them?
This exploration is inspired by the home movies, photo books, letters, literature, and other mementos found in the Prelinger Archives, a collection of found images and videos from the 1930s to the early 2000s—all of which are no longer linked to their original owners or creators. In this exploration, images and video stills from the archives are printed onto a book and are intended to be viewed alongside a mobile phone. By combining both the tactility and static nature of a book with the movement in the screen of a digital device the book becomes a way of resurfacing the memories of those in the archive into the present, bringing them new life and recontextualizing them in a new time.